Presently Lassa fever is ravaging Nigeria and has killed one doctor and 42 persons across 17 states. An herbal medicine practitioner, Benjamin Amoda claims he has cure for Lassa fever. He spoke with Nigerian Pilot’s Joyce Remi- Babayeju.
Since the outbreak of the hemorrhagic fever in Nigeria at least 43 persons have died including one doctor, after Cesarean session on a pregnant woman in Port Harcourt. Unfortunately, the disease has continued to claim more lives despite measures taken by the Federal government and appropriate agencies to curtail the menace.
In a recent joint press briefing on the update on Lassa fever by the Minster of Health, Professor Issac Adewole and the Minister of Information and Cultute, Alhaji Lai Mohammed in Abuja, a cumulative summary on Lassa fever was released showing 41 deaths, 25 confirmed cases and 93 suspected cases with s CFR of 44%.
But just this week, Abuja recorded one death of a 33 year old man, transferred from a hospital in Kubwa, a suburb town who later died at the National Hospital.
Though the Federal Ministry of health says it is on top of the situation, Nigerians are skeptical about this especially as new infections are being recorded with additional deaths.
But in the mist of this health storm, a cure claimant has emerged with allegedly, “authentic drug subject to scientific test that could cure the deadly Lassa fever, in addition to eliminating Ebola and Dengue fever which is being currently neglected”.
In an exclusive interview, Pharmacist Benjamin Amodu who is also acclaimed herbal medicine manufacturer stated, without mincing words, that his newest drug, yet to be named could cure Lassa fever.
In his words, ‘’ Yes! I have a drug that is subject to test both international and locally that can cure Lassa fever and other haemorrhagic diseases.
‘’I have a single product here that can cure Lassa fever, although I have not given it a name yet. Before now, I developed a drug that can cure Dengue fever.
Dengue is in the same group with Ebola, Lassa except that they have different ways of transmission to people.’’
‘’I am ready to give out samples to organisations to challenge government for its efficacy. Let them take it for testing and they will see that we have something here in Nigeria.’’
‘’ The president said the other time that Nigerians should look inwards, so if we have something good here in our country for Lassa fever, then let Government take up the challenge and analyse it and it will be seen that the drug can cure and prevent Lassa fever.’’
“Right now government is treating Lassa fever with the drug called Ribavirin which is the only product for managing the fever for now. The Minister of Health has just announced a second one and I am also announcing a third one which they can verify, he said.
‘’ We have given samples like this before to the former minister of health for Ebola it was not investigated.’’ The unfortunate thing about Lassa fever this time is that it has come and gone several times but not in this mood, Amodu explained.
Speaking further on the efficacy of the new drug, he said, ‘’I want to report to you that in one of the most competent laboratories in the world, my drug was tested with a result of the CD8, that is the human cells, if it changes in the number it shows that it will be effective in the management and treatment of Ebola. Also for the HIV patients whose CD4 and CD8 we took record of, after three months of use. When we repeated the tests one increased from 66CD8 to 788 from 1414 to 2149 CD8.
The first one shows an increase of 500 and the second one an increase of 200. The second test is to apply it to an Ebola patient but we don’t have a P4 lab here unlike in Asian countries and US. This is the next stage we are looking at now.
Amodu also claimed that his drugs on HIV/AIDS have been tested for efficacy and cure with several patients taking treatment and being cured daily.
Amodu urged government to embrace local products making waves in the global market for the cure of haemorrhagic diseases.
He acknowledged that though the drugs of another claimant, Dr. Joseph Abalaka are already patent in the international market for use in Europe, Abalaka is not being encouraged by the Nigerian government, stating however that he would not be frustrated by anyone.
“I will follow due process whether my drugs are accepted or not, but the sufferers know their worth and would come for them”.
Amodu regretted that despite being a member of NAFDAC ‘s monitoring committee on locally produced drugs and subjecting himself for due process, some of his products are yet to be confirmed.
“But this does not stop patients around the country from using my products.
‘’We have selected one of my products called TABMAL drugs for malaria and typhoid but up till now government is yet to fund this drug. If it is funded, its sales globally will increase our foreign earnings for the country instead of dwelling on oil revenue and making Nigeria a dumping ground for foreign drugs.’’ Amodu said.